Book Bits: George R.R. Martin, Hugo Awards flap, ‘Blackout,’ Phillipa Gregory
I often wonder why more bookstores don’t have Espresso Book Machines. Perhaps it’s the cost, the training required to operate it and maintain it, or the belief that a small percentage of customers will opt to purchase books that way rather than logging on to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s or another online site. Nice to see the updated Shakespeare & Company bookstore will be trying out the service (Item 1).
- News: Shakespeare & Co. to Unveil New Look and Self-Publishing Machine, by Shaye Weaver – “The Shakespeare & Co. bookstore on Lexington Avenue at 68th Street is set to unveil its new look after undergoing a summer-long renovation, which included adding a new coffee shop, seating, a restroom — and a new Espresso Book Machine: a printer that gives authors the ability to print their own books within minutes, according to manager Pete Isop.” DNAinfo – According to Shelf Awareness, “the renovations include a new coffee shop, seating, a restroom and a section devoted to self-published authors.”
- Feature: George R.R. Martin finally admits ‘Game of Thrones’ will probably finish before his books, by Hoai-Tran Bui – “A lot of us have been in denial that Game of Thrones will spoil the ending to George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, but no one has been in more denial than Martin himself.” USA Today
- Commentary: How This Year’s Hugo Awards Turned Into a Battle Over Race, Gender, and the Soul of Fandom. by Alison Herman – “For those who haven’t been following the months-long controversy, headlines like “Diversity wins as the Sad Puppies lose” (or, on the opposing side, “SJWs Burn Down the Hugo Awards”) might seem incomprehensible. So we’ve put together a guide to what went down in Spokane, Washington, what it means for fandom as a whole, and what the hell sad puppies have to do with it.” Flavorwire – See also, Who Won Science Fiction’s Hugo Awards, and Why It Matters from Wired.
- Review: “Blackout,” by Sarah Hepola – “A razor-sharp memoir that reveals the woman behind the wine glass…A treasure trove of hard truths mined from a life soaked in booze.” Kirkus
- News: Author Solutions Case Ends With Settlement, by Andrew Albanese – “A closely watched lawsuit that had accused self-publishing service provider Author Solutions of fraud appears to be over…In the end, the case was left with just two named plaintiffs, Mary Simmons and Jodi Foster. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.” Publishers Weekly
Interview: In New Memoir, Maria Tells Us How She Got, How She Got To ‘Sesame Street’ – “Since 1971 Sonia Manzano has been one of the lucky residents of Sesame Street. As Maria, she guided Big Bird, Elmo and the rest of the gang through life lessons large and small. After 44 years, Manzano recently announced her retirement, but her dedication to help kids continues.” NPR
- Essay: When the Editor Becomes the Writer, by Jill Bialosky – “Perhaps we all have one question we get asked repeatedly. Mine is always the same question. How do you do it? How do I hold a demanding job as an executive editor at a major publishing company while also maintaining an active writing life? The answer is sometimes a mystery even to me. There are challenges to wearing two hats. ” Literary Hub
- Interview: Phillipa Gregory (“The Taming of the Queen”) with Trisha Ping – “British writer Philippa Gregory has been telling the story of England’s most infamous king—and his equally famous coterie of wives—for nearly 15 years. In Taming the Queen, she brings Henry VIII’s final wife, Kateryn Parr, to the forefront. We asked Gregory a few questions about her latest book, the TV and film adaptations of her works and what readers can expect next.” Book Page
- News: National Post’s censorship of Atwood spurs media flurry, by Becky Robertson – “Over the weekend, the National Post faced a whirlwind of attention and criticism – much if it involving puns about hair – from both traditional and social media after it removed a column by Margaret Atwood about Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s ’do and the upcoming Canadian federal election.” Quill & Quire
- Review: “Friction,” by Sandra Brown, reviewed by Maggie Harding – “FRICTION is the latest of Brown’s 67 bestsellers that have been translated into 34 languages. Despite the number of books she has written and the 80 million copies that have been sold worldwide, she continues to produce works that are engaging and full of energy. She has not let her success diminish her dedication to her craft and never fails to provide an exciting and enjoyable read.” Book Reporter